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Japanese て-form before のこと

  Tags: Grammar | Japanese
 Language Learning Forum : Questions About Your Target Languages Post Reply
metordorus
Newbie
United States
Joined 3497 days ago

26 posts - 31 votes
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 1 of 3
15 March 2011 at 11:23pm | IP Logged 
I'm very, very slowly learning Japanese. Currently, I have been working on understanding the Japanese film "Shall We ダンス?" 

In the introduction, I came on this sentence:

下心があってのことだ。

I think this must mean "It's that there is an ulterior motive."

But what puzzles me about this is the apparent use of a て-form right before the particle の (あっての). Is that what this is? I've never seen that before. Is it common? When is it used? Does this differ from saying 下心があることだ。

Thanks,
John

1 person has voted this message useful



Lucky Charms
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
lapacifica.net
Joined 4698 days ago

752 posts - 1710 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: German, Spanish

 
 Message 2 of 3
16 March 2011 at 3:44am | IP Logged 
If I recall correctly, the form 「て form+のこと」is also tested on the JPLT 1. I really
envy you for taking the initiative to learn these kind of things in a fun, adventurous
way instead of cramming from a book!

You're right about the meaning, and also about the fact that there's a much more common
way of expressing it. However, I think we wouldn't say 「下心があることだ」 but rather, 「下
心があるということだ」or more colloquially,「下心があるってことだ」. My impression is
that these are used a hundred times more than the one you came across in the movie
(which isn't to say that it isn't a good thing to know!)

I'm not sure if it's etymologically correct, but the way I got this puzzling
construction to make sense to me was by remembering that the て form can sometimes be
used to give a reason for something (similar to ので). For example, if you asked me how
a party went, I could say「風邪引いて行けなかったよ」 in which case the て form doesn't just
join the sentences with a neutral "and", but is more of a "I caught a cold, and SO (as
a result of that) I couldn't go". And sometimes we can use this first part by itself:

昨日のパーティー、行かなかったの?
So you didn't go to last night's party?

そうね。風邪引いて。
Yeah, that's right. I caught a cold, so because of that...

Your example might be related:
下心があってのことだ。
He has an ulterior motive, so because of that... [*], that's what it is.

* Here the result isn't mentioned because it's self-explanatory/already mentioned.


Anyway, that's how I rationalize it. I hope this makes sense to other people!
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Monox D. I-Fly
Senior Member
Indonesia
monoxdifly.iopc.us
Joined 2884 days ago

601 posts - 663 votes 
Speaks: Indonesian*

 
 Message 3 of 3
29 March 2018 at 3:49pm | IP Logged 
By the way how to pronounce 下心? Is it "fushin"?


1 person has voted this message useful



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